Epidemiology and Food Hypersensitivity

  • Morten Osterballe
Part of the Allergy Frontiers book series (ALLERGY, volume 1)

Food hypersensitivity (FHS) has attracted much awareness over the last three decades and the general public perceives FHS as a major health problem. A revised nomenclature for allergy has recently been published as a position paper by the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) [1]. Generally, hypersensitivity causes objectively reproducible symptoms or signs, initiated by exposure to a defined stimulus at a dose tolerated by normal subjects [1]. Allergy is a hypersensitivity reaction initiated by immunologic mechanisms, whereas sensitization just reflects presence of specific antibodies to an allergen. Allergens are antigens with the capacity to bind IgE (and IgG) antibodies [1].

FHS is subdivided into toxic reactions and non-toxic reactions [2]. Toxic reactions typically reflect contamination (e.g., bacterial), whereas non-toxic reactions are subdivided into immune mediated and non-immune-mediated reactions [1, 2].


Food Allergy Allergy Clin Immunol Peanut Allergy Oral Challenge Positive Skin Prick Test 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Morten Osterballe
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of DermatologyAarhus University Hospital, P.P.Aarhus CDenmark

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